Life With Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Eating With Braces

Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

    Foods to Avoid With Braces
    • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, beef jerky
    • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
    • Sticky foods — caramels, chewing gum, taffy
    • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, frozen candy bars
    • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

    Click here to download an easy “Red Light/Yellow Light/Green Light” guide. 

    Foods You Can Eat With Braces
        • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
        • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
        • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
        • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
        • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
        • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
        • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
        • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
        • Click here to download an easy “Red Light/Yellow Light/Green Light” guide. 
    Soreness Caused by Braces & Appliances

    When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the irritation, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of cool water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

    If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We will give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

    Loose Teeth

    If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will tighten up and no longer be loose.

    Loose Wires & Bands

    The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

    You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

    Take Care of Your Appliances

    Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, retainer, positioner or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

    Playing Sports With Braces

    Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

    In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with cool saltwater.

    Need to come see us?

    Ames Office

    1212 Duff Ave
    Ames, IA 50010

    (515) 232-2255

    Boone Office

    703 8th St
    Boone, IA

    (515) 432-4522

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